Jack and Maisie are bright, newly married and miserable. The Paper Anniversary tells the story of their marriage - how it comes about, how it falls apart and how they try painfully to put it back together. Jack has just inherited his family's ailing french fry factory and, after a whirlwind wedding that leaves both their heads spinning, moves back to the Maine town where he grew up to try to revive the business. Meanwhile, Maisie is mostly living in New York, in her best friend's guest room, pursuing her dream of a "glamorous" literary life. So begins the awkward dance of their commuter marriage: When they get together on weekends, the distance between them only seems greater. They may not make it much past their first anniversary, the paper anniversary - "to hammer home to you," as Maisie says, "that what you've gone through so far is nothing, you haven't earned anything yet."
The Paper Anniversary marks the debut of an intensely believable new voice. In this moving portrait of a marriage that matures only when it may be too late, Joan Wickersham gives us a man and a woman as recognizable as our own friends: Maisie, funny, reckless, hard on Jack but ultimately harder on herself, governed by fantasies of what marriage and careers should be like; Jack, responsible, reflective, self-contained, trying to distinguish between what he ought to do and what he wants. Wry and wrenching by turns, but always wonderfully real, The Paper Anniversary is at once a modern comedy of conjugal errors and a sparkling novel with rare insight into the hearts and minds of men and women in love